Authors: Concha Jerez and José Iges
Title: El silbido del Caballo de Hierro atravesando el umbral del Paraíso [The Whistling of the Iron Horse Crossing the Threshold of Paradise]
Technique: stereophonic sound work
First broadcasting: Atelier de Création Radiophonique (ACR), France-Culture, Radio France, 1995
Production: La Muse en Circuit.
Original recordings and mix: Concha Jerez, José Iges.
Mixed at: La Muse en Circuit, Alfortville, Paris, 4-1995
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This work also includes:
· 10 original documents on paper with hand-written annotations about the work by the authors and with the scheme used for multitrack assembly.
· Unpublished audio interview by Miguel Álvarez-Fernández with the artists in 2020. Duration: 18'02''
ABOUT THE WORK
The initial work was commissioned in 1995 by La Muse en Circuit. We performed it in the spring of that year in the studios of this group in Alfortville (Paris).
We dealt with the problem of immigration in Europe. It is a radio artwork that is sometimes very close to the documentary genre, which includes interviews with immigrants and political refugees in various reception centres and associations in Madrid, as well as with various heads of centres and embassies in Madrid and Paris.
The train is here a metaphor, in the etymological sense of the term: a means of transport. The train, that "iron horse", as the American Indians called it, is in this case a central character loaded with hopes and omens, songs and tears. How many of those who came to cross the threshold into the so-called First World found the Paradise they dreamed of? In the twenty-first century, these problems, these personal tragedies, have multiplied, and the possible solutions have been postponed or diluted, aggravated by the misgivings, xenophobia and short-sightedness that our societies have displayed in this regard. Unfortunately, therefore, we are dealing with a subject that is strictly current, despite the time that has elapsed.
The work, in two of its versions, has been part of two historical events of sound art that enjoyed wide international resonance. Thus, the initial work was premiered on Horizontal Radio, an event organized by the Ars Acustica group of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), during 24 hours between June 22 and 23, 1995. The general concept that encouraged the participation of radio stations and sound artists from twenty cities in three continents was Migrations, which coincided fully with the theme of our work.
A year later, a similar event took place, entitled Rivers & Bridges, and as part of the Spanish participation in this event we produced, using materials from that initial work and some of our own texts, four short capsules entitled Interference Pieces. That same year we incorporated those pieces into the 1995 work, and this is the definitive version presented here.
The diagrams and notes on montage, editing and mixing that we show below belong to sessions that took place in the studios of La Muse en Circuit in 1995.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
They live and work in Madrid. Intermedia artists. Pioneers of electronic art in Spain. They have been working together since 1989, when they started to translate their ideas into radio art works, performances, installations and intermedia concerts. They have participated in numerous international exhibitions and festivals, such as the Ars Electronica festival (Linz, Austria, 1997 and 2004).
Concha Jerez is a multidisciplinary artist. She studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Madrid and political science at the University of Madrid.
Since 1973 she has carried out diverse works in which she incorporates different disciplines. Her work has focused on the development of the installation concept, as an on-site work, in large concrete spaces.
Worth highlighting are those made for museums and art centers such as the Vostell Museum in Malpartida, Museum Wiesbaden, Museum Moderner Kunst in Vienna, Frauen Museum in Bonn, DA2 in Salamanca, Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea, Art Center La Regenta and the Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno (CAAM) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León (MUSAC), Tabacalera Madrid, ZKM (Center for Art and Media) of Karlsruhe.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, she has expanded her activity to performance. She has performed in museums such as the Landesmuseum of Mainz, the Reina Sofía National Art Center (MNCARS), Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM) , the Tenerife Space of the Arts of Sta. Cruz de Tenerife, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Alicante, Museu D'Art de Girona, the Tabacalera Madrid, the MUSAC and the CAAM.
José Iges is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and composer. He is an industrial engineer and Doctor in Information Sciences.
He has been a member of the Seminar of Art and Computer Science and of the ELENFANTE collective. Between 1984 and 2000 he performed voice and electronic concerts with singer and actress Esperanza Abad.
He has received commissions from RAI, WDR Cologne, Radio France, La Muse en Circuit, Comunidad de Madrid, INAEM (Ministry of Culture), MUAC (Mexico), Fonoteca Nacional de México, ORF Kunstradio de Viena, Ars Electronica de Linz and YLE Helsinki, among other institutions.
His works have been disseminated in numerous festivals, concerts and exhibitions in Spain, Europe and Latin America.
He has been president of the AMEE (Spanish Electroacoustic Music Association), as well as founding member and president of the group Ars Acústica (UER). Between 1985 and 2008 he created and directed the programme Ars Sonora on RNE Radio Clásica.